WASHINGTON, DC — Community support has been a pillar of the baking industry long before the COVID-19 crisis. In fact, in 2019, American Bakers Association (ABA) member bakers and allies donate more than 26 million lbs of food, gave almost $7 million to charitable organizations and volunteered close to 31,000 hours, according to ABA frontline workforce research.

That was just the beginning.

“That was just a fraction of the industry companies that are represented,” said Robb MacKie, ABA president and CEO, during the association’s annual convention, held virtually March 22-23. “That’s an incredible effort by the ABA members.”


“There were many ways that the Kroger Co. stepped in. As an ongoing sponsor of Feeding America, we certainly increased our financial support; but across the divisions of our stores, we partnered with local food banks to raise money and offered opportunities for our customers to donate directly to Feeding America.”


Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. is just one member organization that launched big initiatives during the pandemic in an effort to support employees and the communities they serve.

“The Kroger Co. is very connected to the Feeding America organization and its network of food banks across the country,” said Erin Sharp, group VP, manufacturing for the Kroger Co. Sharp is also on the Feeding America national board of directors. “I’ve been very connected to the challenges that our entire nation faced this past year.”

The number of people seeking to use food banks rose significantly last year due to the financial havoc the pandemic has wreaked on American homes.


As a Feeding America Guiding Partner, Flowers donated more than $8.8 million in bakery foods in 2020 with plans to exceed that in 2021.

“I’m so proud of the work our bakeries do,” Alexander said, noting that all 46 Flowers bakeries work with local entities to support their communities.

“Everyone in the baking industry is well aware of our industry’s quiet dedication to supporting their employees and communities,” MacKie said. “The recent crisis, however, has shed a brighter light on those extraordinary efforts. We have focused a lot of attention on the contributions to keep Americans fed, but today, we also want to recognize the amazing efforts in supporting those in our communities who are struggling.”

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